Discipline - Key in both Trading and Gambling!

Time for another piece on discipline. You will recall that discipline is not a set of rules or dogma. It is not a rigid formula of "should do's". The purpose of discipline is to keep you from manipulation and can essentially set you free from other's mindsets and opinions. By taking charge of your life, you become empowered. Now, by saying "taking charge of your life", I actually mean that you are in charge of your reactions to life. There are many things that you can do to influence the course of your life, like eating appropriately, paying attention, treating people with respect and kindness, exercising and resting in a balanced way, working at something you love and using the concepts of Feng Shui in your home.

All these things and more, have an effect on your life experience, but let's face it, there is a higher power that runs the show! The way you accept life as it happens determined your amount of joy or suffering. Your life is not a consequence of events that come your way by happenstance. You create a force field that draws events or repels them - yet some just come along anyway. Your life is a result of the discipline you use in your interpretation and reaction to what you create and events that seem to just "come along". The thought forms you hold dear become your reality. We all know stories of the "lucky " person drawing more "luck" to themselves or the "oh poor me" person experiencing more tragedy. I recommend highly the book, The Hidden Messages in Water, by Masuro Emoto. It shows the difference between the ice crystals made from water that was told nice things and water that has been told angry messages. Since our bodies are composed predominantly of water, it is a great demonstration of how we can influence our destiny.

When you come from a discipline that never settles for less than you deserve, you never have to settle for less. Simple! So you ask, "why do I draw so many undeserved starting hands when playing Texas Hold'em?" Answer: Just because you draw a Jack/Three off suit, it does not mean you have to play it. Fold the hand! In life, you walk away from that which does not honor you. Remove yourself from the situation expressing a lower energy. You can't control what you draw but you can control your interpretation and reaction. There is always another way. You mission is to find it.

You know you have always fancied my pal, Charley? Well he won you in tonights poker game!

Recently while on vacation with some of my relatives who live in the US, I took my wonderful Aunt Sadie to Cripple Creek, Colorado for a day of gambling for her birthday. She loves to play the machines. She also wanted my help playing blackjack. Gaming in Colorado is restricted to a $5 maximum bet. Because of the bet restriction, blackjack and low limit poker are the only table games. Needless to say, playing a flat $5 bet, the player is not expected to win very much... 6-8 units maybe. It was my job as expert to put my aunt in the best of possible playing conditions. Finding such a thing in Cripple Creek was crippling, we did a lot of walking. Aunt Sadie wanted to play the first table we came to. The energy and game there was pathetic so I couldn't help but use a little discipline and pass it by, much to Sadie's dismay. After checking four or five other casinos, I found what looked to be the best game in town at the far end of the street. Aunt Sadie bought in for $40. We played for about two hours. When we stopped for lunch, my aunt was up five and a half units, $27.50. I was down 12 units. She was pleased and she kept to the discipline. I had slipped out of mine just for the fun of playing with my auntie.

My aunt wanted to go to different casino for lunch where she had comp points. The place was very busy compared to where we played blackjack. I immediately did not care for it one bit. Not wanting to be rude, I followed along with my aunt. We had to wait for the comp and then about 45 minutes for a table. If you recall Thumper's words from Bambi about saying nice things, then you'll understand why I'm not going into a further description of the café. After getting a table, we had a long wait for the food. In short, even for free, we paid too much.

Now, I could have been assertive and given my aunt lectures on energy etc, etc, but my Aunt Sadie was having fun showing me around and she enjoyed basking in that roll. I signed up for the trip and I was going to play the hand I was dealt. Where's the lesson of discipline? It comes from the freedom of knowing that this experience was not the way I would have orchestrated it but I was willing to accept it to be with my aunt. I was coming from an energy of allowing another's satisfaction, knowing my discipline and letting it go. Aunt Sadie was not trilled with the café experience but did little to show it. I was not about to rain on the parade.

When push comes to shove, you avoid manipulation when you have a discipline that keeps you from engaging negative emotion. You can take heart recognizing when it is okay for you to proceed and when it is not. When conditions are not to your liking or do not fit your disciple, you are free to walk away or proceed with caution and a positive attitude. Instead of blindly moving to stand in front of the oncoming headlights, you carefully walk back to the curb, knowing you have just consciously stepped out of your comfort zone and you know how to get back to safety, if the need presents itself. You perceive the environment and are fully aware of where you stand. You got yourself in and you get yourself out, and you accept the consequences of your actions.

In gaming as well as in life, you get to make the decision about which hands you will play and how you play them. It's great to hold to a discipline when it comes to choosing your game and where you will play. Never settle for less than you deserve unless that is what you are choosing to do for a conscious, specific reason. When you do, and you get less that what you deserve, you can marvel in the wonder of the universe that gives you exactly what you were requesting. You can have anything that you want, except for one thing... you have to ask.

Blackjack Tournament Strategy

Playing blackjack tournaments is inexpensive fun and exciting. More tournaments are offered and with the huge rule restrictions now enforced, tournaments can be more profitable, for money invested, than live games.

It is always going to come down to the cards you draw in a tournament first of all. That is why, money management and bankroll protection is crucial and no different from live play. Considering the randomness of the game and the propensity of probability, I want to share the strategy that I have been using with success for blackjack tournament play.

The tournaments I have played are limited to a predetermined number of hands. The first thing I do is to figure my minimum bet. I divide the number of hands into the starting bankroll. Example: A 21 hand tournament with a $500 bankroll provides me with a $23.81 unit or $25 minimum bet. I play the $25 unit to the midway point in the game. Midway in the game, I make an adjustment to the bet. I again divide my remaining bankroll by 10. Example: If at mid game I have $750, my unit becomes $75.

This is all the easy stuff. Additionally, you must play perfect "Basic Strategy", count cards if you can and be aware of how your competition is doing. As you move into the final 3-4 hands, you should be in position to win your table.

Key to winning a tournament is having chips to play to the end. The players that are aggressive usually don't last. You want to have yourself in a position, at the end, where you are either chip leader, or have the chips to become chip leader.

There are a few other subtleties when you will deviate from basic play because you have no other choice but to double or split in desperation. Again, knowing the count is advantageous when you know the odds of expected cards to play.

The last few hands and the betting will make or break you. Either way, you have to be there for it to happen. This simple play of managing the bankroll has put me in a position at the end of the game to have a shot at winning. Still, it comes down to the cards and, always, the energy of the game you are playing.

Tournaments for poker, blackjack and craps are becoming extremely popular and it's where you'll win the real money. If you use this strategy, please let me know how you do and if you like it.

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